Spending quality time in the "Wild Kingdom"

So, those of you who have read my column before know that I like the outdoors. Well, Wednesday morning on my way to the office, I came across something I didn't expect to see. As I was driving to the interstate from our house, which is out in the country a ways, even if our house itself is...
Jul 10, 2013

So, those of you who have read my column before know that I like the outdoors. Well, Wednesday morning on my way to the office, I came across something I didn't expect to see.

As I was driving to the interstate from our house, which is out in the country a ways, even if our house itself is in a neighborhood, and I noticed a fox that had just crossed the road and was heading across a ditch. Now, I know that there are probably lots more foxes around than I could possibly think about, but I'd never seen one on the side of the road before.

This sight got me to thinking about the other forms of wildlife that I have seen around our house and, surprisingly, there have been quite a few. Of course, there have been a couple dozen deer, which most people in the state see at least once or twice in there area. We have at least 15 different types of birds in our neighborhood, all of which seem to enjoy devouring the birdseed we put in the feeder on the front porch. I've laughed as I watched squirrels chase each other from tree to tree, and there are so many rabbits that I wouldn't even attempt to count, several of which have darted in front of my car.

A few weeks ago I also went turkey bowling as I topped the hill near several farms on the way out of town only to find at least 20 of them strolling across the pavement. Wild turkeys, thankfully, are smaller and faster than the domesticated ones we enjoy so much at Thanksgiving, so they removed themselves from the path of my Civic before any had their lives cut short unceremoniously.

A few days after the turkey encounter, I saw a small group of coyotes in nearly the same spot, but they were in a farmer's field and no danger to my car, or themselves. The most unpleasant of these wildlife encounters I didn't even see. I woke up one morning around 3 a.m. to the most powerful skunk smell I have had the misfortune to encounter. I assumed that someone had run over the creature in the neighborhood, but no such luck. Found out later that day that my dogs had gotten hold of it, and that meant a large ordeal of giving them all baths in tomato juice.

I am starting to think I should film some of these random events and start my own version of "Wild Kingdom" for the viewing pleasure of others.

Or maybe I should send the videos in to America's Funniest Home Videos, I could use that $25,000.

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